With the COVID-19 outbreak, usage of a tool that’s been available for quite some time is finally getting a well-deserved spike. Yes, I am talking about Teams.

While many people are comparing it to Slack, Zoom, WebEx, or any other meeting or chat apps out there, I do not think these comparisons are even remotely adequate. Teams is far more than just a pure meetings and chat application.

It is a pure COLLABORATION application and probably the best starting point for any employee in any company that has 5+ employees. Apart from providing communication options—easy 1-on-1 chat, dedicated topic channels, or org-wide group announcements—the real and unprecedented value of Teams is in its integration with Microsoft 365 and other non-Microsoft apps and services.

Do you have an important email that others should see? Just forward it to the group address. Everyone will get notified about it, and the probability of it being missed in the jungle of unread emails is very low.

Need to share an Excel sheet with members of your team? No need to make local copies, share via email, and risk having multiple versions, so you do not know which one is the source of truth. Share it on Teams, and it will be the only correct file that can be worked on by multiple users, even at the same time.

Want to automate some processes? Easily integrate Teams with Flow or PowerApps and trigger various automations with Teams as a starting or ending point. Get notification about process status in Teams, so you do not miss any of the important steps.

Even if you are using non-Microsoft apps for your CRM or finance processes, there is a good chance that integration with Teams is possible, with dozens of apps already having their instances in the Apps for Teams store.

Here is a summary of some of the ways Teams can help improve your business daily:

  1. Written communication — Organize communication by departments or other logical units for easy team-wide communication or 1-on-1 chat.
  2. Voice communication — Easily set up conference calls with external users. They can join from Teams, Skype for Business, or simple dial-in from their phones. You can even use Teams as your Cloud PBX and phone system.
  3. Share files — Securely share and store files. All files shared in Teams are secure, available for collaboration, and can be searched easily at a future date.
  4. Flexibility — Use Teams Web client from any browser of your choice on any device you are using. Full client application is available for Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems. Mobile users can join using Android or iOS app versions.
  5. Security — Integrate security. Teams fully supports all well-known security measures: multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, Advanced Threat Protection (safe links, safe attachments), Conditional Access and Compliance Policies, and so on.

I consider Teams to be the most useful application for collaboration out there at the moment. It can easily speed up transformation and can be a great starting point for making your business more flexible and remote, without sacrificing reliability and security.

What communication and collaboration tools are your company using? Do you know of any other feature that I did not mention? Feel free to contact me or comment below. I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this.

Considering switching to Teams? Find out more here or contact our team directly.

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